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Old 11-04-2010, 03:31 AM   #1
keith_b
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Default Question on Welch's grape juice wine

I have two batches of wine fermenting now. My first and second batches ever by the way. One is from some Muscadine grapes I raised this past summer and the second batch is 1.5 gallons from Welch's grape juice. I'll ask about the Welch's grape juice batch first.

I started this batch on October 24 and added a dissolved sugar and water solution to the grape juice to bring the SG up from a 1.08 (straight juice) to 1.095 with the sugar added.
This took around 6 cups of sugar for the 1.5 gallons of wine juice.

I used Lalvin-K1-V1116 yeast and the batch was bubbling happily a few hours later. Today, only 10 days later the air lock has stopped bubbling and the SG is down to 0.994.

The wine taste OK. Pretty dry but looks and taste pretty good.

I was surprised that the fermentation finished this quickly or appears to have finished and the SG looks pretty good at 0.994.

My question is, "Is that it?" is the wine finished fermenting?

Should I wait another week at least before bottling or is there something else I am missing and should do?

As I mentioned earlier this is my first attempt at making wine and I am a little spooked that it appears to have gone so well and so quickly. Am I missing something here?

Any thoughts and comments would be much appreciated.

Keith
Henderson, Texas

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Old 11-04-2010, 12:10 PM   #2
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You need to rack it off the gunk now, let it sit under air-lock for at least 6 more weeks, rack it off the gunk and let it sit 6 more weeks before even thinking about bottling.

If you want to sweeten it before bottling, you will need to stun all the remaining yeast (and there will always be some in there) with campden and sorbate before adding any sugar.

With that high to low SG, you have a lot of alcohol in there (about 13.3%) that will taste hot for a long time. It will probably need to sit 6 months in the bottle to start to taste good. A year would be better.

Wine making is not for the impatient...

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Old 11-04-2010, 01:54 PM   #3
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I agree. You need to wait until it settles out fully. One of the best ways to check it is to shine a powerful flashlight through the carboy and see if it gets all the way through. If you try and take a sample to see if it's clear you risk contaminating it and oxidizing it. Plus it tends to look clear prematurely in a small sample.

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Old 11-05-2010, 02:38 AM   #4
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Thanks for the advice. I believe I will order out some campden and sorbate. Let it sit for awhile and then add a bit of sugar to it. Guess I had better order out another air lock and bored plug since it sounds like I am going to have this carboy tied up for awhile.

Thanks again...
Keith

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Old 11-05-2010, 12:04 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keith_b View Post
Thanks for the advice. I believe I will order out some campden and sorbate. Let it sit for awhile and then add a bit of sugar to it. Guess I had better order out another air lock and bored plug since it sounds like I am going to have this carboy tied up for awhile.

Thanks again...
Keith
You can buy a "wine conditioner" liquid that is a simple syrup with the sorbate already in it to eliminate a step. The campden will act as an anti-oxident so that the wine stays fresh while being exposed to air.

1st rule of winemaking: One can never have too many carboys.
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Old 11-07-2010, 10:41 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoctorCAD View Post
You can buy a "wine conditioner" liquid that is a simple syrup with the sorbate already in it to eliminate a step. The campden will act as an anti-oxident so that the wine stays fresh while being exposed to air.

1st rule of winemaking: One can never have too many carboys.
If you use that syrup only it will not prevent fermentation, UNLESS all yeast are TOTALLY gone/dead. I put it in apfelwein and carbonated accidentally (fortunately I used champagne bottles) because I didn't add the meta in addition to the sorbate.

On the upside, there was no mini-yeast-cake like there is in bottle-carbonated beer.
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Old 11-18-2010, 02:03 AM   #7
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November 17, update on Welch's Grape Juice Concentrate Wine: Started on Oct. 24.
Today I racked the wine to another carboy and checked the S.G. The S.G. was at 0.992, down slightly from 0.994 back on November 3. Will or could a change in temperature in the house make this much difference in the S.G.? There probably was not more than a 5 degree F. change in temps between the Nov. 3 reading and today, Nov. 17. Just not sure how much the temp change might affect the S.G. reading or even if I need to be concerned with ambient temperatures. Change was probably the result of continued fermentation although the air lock has not moved in over a week.
The wine looks to be quite clear with only a very slight sludge in the remains left in the carboy when the siphon broke. There was no layer of sediment on the bottom of the carboy like I saw at the first racking back on Oct. 31. The wine is quite dry with a pretty high alcohol content according to my un-educated taste buds.
My plan is to give it a few move days, (waiting is so hard) in the carboy and then give it a dose of campden to kill the fermentation and then see about sweetening it with sugar dissolved in hot/warm water. Since the wine taste so dry and the S.G. is pretty low I was wondering if it would be a mistake to try and dilute it some with more Welch's Grape Juice Concentrate or should I just add the sugar syrup until it mask the dryness somewhat?
If adding more juice concentrate is an option, I would think that I would add the campden to the wine and then add the juice a few days later after the yeast has died.
Am I way out in left field here so far as adding more juice concentrate to dilute the alcohol content?
I would prefer a little sweeter wine and one that is not so dry if that is possible at this point without ending up with something awful. Of course awful is relative I realize, most especially since I know very little about "Good Wine" at this stage.

Thoughts and comments will be very much appreciated as I try to hone my wine making skills.

Thanks,
Keith
Henderson, TX.

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Old 11-18-2010, 02:24 AM   #8
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Sometimes on the inside of the paper with the hydrometer there is a temp correction scale for SG. So a 5F room change would be the deference between two numbers. The sludge precipitating out of solution may make a small difference as well but never noticed that close.
65F is a +.0007 correction
70F is a +.0016
75F is a +.0025

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Old 11-18-2010, 02:31 AM   #9
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Thanks CampFireWine,
I do believe there was a sheet with my hydrometer. I'll see if I can locate it and see what it says for my hydrometer.

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Old 11-18-2010, 10:36 AM   #10
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Yes, you can backsweeten with juice. That is the preferred method, actually... gives more of the appropriate flavor than just plain ol' sugar.

Also, if you don't want to use meta to kill your yeast, and if you have patience , you can use your fridge to kill off yeast. Six weeks at 40F should make sure all the little guys are kaput, then you add sugar and sorbate... but it sounds like you are not interested in another six weeks of waiting.

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